Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Instructions for the seasonal shaped swatches

I start giving the first general instruction for knitting the little shapes. I’ll add others in the coming days.

To become familiar with the knitting technique for the stitch patterns I recommend to read the instructions 1 - 3 (sidebar).

First I have to describe a few things that you’ll need in making most or all of the shapes, so that I can just refer back to these descriptions.


You’ll need this for roofs, heads, hats and stems. Your stitch number should be even. Just knit according to this chart:

It means:
odd row: repeat * K, X *
even row: repeat * K, X *

Note: There are no selvage stitches in double knitting here.


In the patterned parts I used what I call “double selvages”.
Additional to the usual selvage stitches indicated in the charts the second and second last stitches in a row are treated as additional selvage stitches. These are knitted in odd rows and slipped with yarn in front in even rows.


To decrease a stitch at right selvage, knit second selvage stitch and first pattern stitch together, inserting needle in back loops.

To decrease at left selvage, knit second last (selvage) stitch together with last pattern stitch, inserting needle in front loops as usual.

Note: As you are constantly taking away stitches from the pattern in the gable of a house for example, you have to adjust your chart. If you get confused, write your stitches down like in this example:


In odd rows:

Slip first stitch to right needle. Exchange second and third stitch, moving second behind third. Put all stitches back on left needle. Knit first two together, inserting needle into back of stitches. Slip the next two stitches, then go on double knitting.

At end of row: slip fourth last stitch exchange third and second last stitches, moving third stitch behind second. Lift stitches back to left needle (4). Knit two stitches together as usual, slip two last stitches. Turn.

In even row:

Knit first two stitches together, inserting needle into back loops.
Knit third and second last stitches together.


I start with giving the instruction for the HOUSE WITH ROOF. I believe this is the easiest.

It is for a pattern chart with 4 stitches in the pattern repeat.

Cast on 17 stitches (= 3 repeats (12) + 1 symmetry stitch + 2x2 selvage stitches).

Knit 16 rows according to chart. Then - with colour of your choice - switch to double knitting. Increase 1 by knitting twice in last stitch of first row.
Make double knit decreases as described in every 3rd/4th row, until you reach desired height/shape of roof.

Starting at selvage with no thread, cast off by pulling each loop over the next. Secure loose threads along selvage and into roof.


For chart with 4 stitches in pattern repeat.

Cast on 17 stitches as in house with roof. Knit 24 or more rows according to your chosen chart.

Then start decreasing - as described above – in every second row. When you have only 3 stitches left cut thread and with darning needle pull through the remaining three stitches twice. Secure loose ends along selvages.


Cast on 13 stitches (= 2 repeats of 4 stitches + 1 symmetry stitch + 4 selvage stitches; or = 3 repeats of 3 stitches + 4 selvage stitches)

Knit 24 rows according to pattern chart, or until desired height is reached.

Using white yarn switch to double knitting. In first row knit third and second last stitches together. Knit 8 rows of double knit chart.

Switch to red yarn. Double knit two rows. Then start decreasing as described above.
Keep decreasing in following rows until only 3 stitches are left. Cut yarn, with darning needle pull twice through remaining stitches. Secure loose ends.


Cast on 4 stitches in stem colour. Double knit until desired height of stem is reached.

On separate needle cast on 7 stitches with colour B. With this needle knit stem stitches, knitting middle two of them together. With same needle cast on 7 stitches.(17 stitches)

Knit according to pattern chart, decreasing in rows 7, 11, 15, 21, 27. (5 stitches)
In next row knit first two and last two stitches together. Pull yarn through remaining 3 stitches. Secure loose ends.


Cast on 6 stitches. Double knit to desired height of stem.

With same colour after an even row cast on 3 stitches. Knit and double knit over these and stem stitches, knitting together two of the stem stitches. Cast on 3 stitches.

With yarn B start knitting according to pattern chart, but note that you will not yet start at 1st stitch of chart. In 3rd row increase 2 stitches at each side by knitting three times into second and second last selvage stitches (front loop – back loop – front loop).

In 5th row increase once at each side by knitting twice into second and second last selvage stitches.

Now you have the full horizontal repeats. Knit according to chart to desired height of crown.

Then decrease by 2 stitches at each side by knitting together three stitches. In second next row decrease one stitch in the same way at both sides. Knit one row; then cast off. Secure loose ends.


Start as for St. Nicholas. Knit 28 rows according to chart.

Starting at left side of work cast off 7 stitches by pulling one loop over next. (6 stitches left on needle).

Starting at right side knit 8 rows according to double-knit chart. Cast off, starting at left side as before. Keep last loop and move it to crochet hook.

Crochet along nose to top of head and into first selvage stitch.

Make two chain stitches, turn, make one slip stitch into chain.

Slip stitch into other side of selvage stitch. Make second ear like first one. Cut off yarn. Secure loose ends.


As above, but make the lowered neck after 24th row as follows:

At left side of work cast off two stitches.

Knit according to chart over remaining 11 stitches, but decrease as in house with gable, until you have only 3 stitches left. Knit those together. Take up two stitches along selvage, turn, and take up 3 stitches from other side of selvage. Between them slip the stitches you already have with yarn in front.

Double-knit 6 rows.

Finish head like with other sheep.

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